Saturday, October 16, 2021

The Goodland Olympics




Natalie Strom

I have to admit, I have been obsessed with watching the 2012 Olympics in London. From the Opening Ceremony I was hooked. Not because I thought it was that great, but because of the parade of countries. Watching all those tiny island nations showing up with only a handful of Olympians has me thinking… What if Goodland were in the Olympics?

Obviously this would only happen if we were our own island nation. So, for the sake of having something to write about, I say that for two weeks during the summer of 2016, we temporarily secede from the Union. Sorry Texas, but looks like it’s “Don’t Mess With Goodland” these days. Rio 2016 here we come!

As the smallest nation competing in the Olympics, The Republic of Goodland would march between Ghana and Grenada in the Opening Ceremony. We would learn from the mistakes of Ralph Lauren, making sure that our country’s uniforms were made within the Republic. A sewing circle could be established at the Goodland Community Center where we would not only make all of our uniforms but make sure they looked good too. Local fishermen could donate their mullet boots for footwear allowing us to showcase our national heritage.

We would completely dominate in all events we participated in. Of course, these aren’t your typical events. But I’m sure that once the International Olympics Committee reviews the new “sports” we would submit, they would unanimously agree to establish these as Olympic events. They would also kick themselves for never considering them before. The events are….

Bed Races: An ancient Goodland tradition which has long been abandoned would make a fierce comeback at the 2016 summer games. What started as mounting beds on wheels and pushing them from the corner by the post office down past Stan’s would become one of the most expensive Olympic events. Teams would use satin sheets to become more aerodynamic, some opting for waterbeds or Tempurpedic mattresses depending on strategy. Others may focus on wheels, using top of the line products and buying WD-40 by the caseload.

The Buzzard Lope: Similar to rhythmic gymnastics, this event features women flapping around on a stage, imitating a hungry bird. Points are awarded for most creative costume and largest wing span. Knowing all the words to “The Buzzard Lope” doesn’t hurt either.

Airboat Races: When it comes to winning the gold, things could go either way for The Republic of Goodland in the Airboat Races. I would say it’s in the bag, but it all depends on Everglades City. Rumors are that the historic city is also considering secession for the 2016 games. Having a larger pool of athletes in this event to choose from, it could spell trouble for Goodland’s chances of taking home top honors.

Mullet Toss: Athletes toss the slippery bait fish into a toilet. The event is timed and whoever lands the most mullet in the bowl is the winner. There is also the distance toss which is similar to Bozo Buckets.

Mullet Filleting: The fish on which The Republic of Goodland was founded is featured again in this event. Athletes fillet the fish with a knife as quickly and concisely as possible. Points are taken off for scales left over and personal flesh wounds incurred.

There are also team events in the Mullet category. Mullet Relay Tossing consists of four teammates in front of four toilets. When the whistle blows, the first must land five mullet in his or her toilet, then the next player can go, and so on. The All- Around Mullet Event consists of fishing for the bait fish, filleting it, smoking it and eating it; another four-person event.

So let’s all start training now! I know I will be dusting off my buzzard costume and practicing my Buzzard Lope for 2016 gold. But if for some crazy reason these games don’t make it to Rio, I’ll be happy to just sit on my couch and watch.

Natalie Strom has lived in Goodland for over two years and has worked in Goodland on and off for more than five years. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is also a former Buzzard Queen of Stan’s Idle Hour in Goodland. 

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